Elly Iverson of Orr Orchards

Rachel Hommel

Elly Iverson of Orr Orchards

Elly Iverson of Orr Orchards

Harvesting Tangy Bearss Limes off San Marcos

Name: Elly Iverson

Farm: Orr Orchards (creators of Marmalime)

Location: San Marcos, off Via Chaparral

What They Grow: Premium Bearss limes, in addition to sweet and tangy lime products, such as marmalime and limeade.

Where to Buy: Farmers Markets including Tuesday and Saturday in downtown Santa Barbara. The juicy limes are also being featured at Alchemy Arts Café in downtown Santa Barbara.

In Season Now: Bearss seedless limes, a sweet and tangy treat, harvested from October to May.

Their Story: More than 50 years ago, Elly Iverson’s grandparents started a small-scale family business off San Marcos Pass. Blessed with 100 mature Bearss lime trees, these juicy delights have become a popular market treat.

“Bearss limes still have that tangy, tart taste but they are so juicy!” said Iverson. “Native to California, they do really well in this great coastal climate.”

Frequently mistaken for lemons, the yellow Bearss limes are indicators of ripeness, while the greener varieties have longer shelf life. In addition to refreshing limeade, their sweet and savory “Marmalime” product is extremely versatile — a great base for zesty meat marinades, salad dressings, and even ice cream.

“My aunt started the line. We wanted something special (and tasty) for market goers,” said Iverson. “It’s a really unique product, totally local to Santa Barbara.”

A true family-run business, Iverson is the main face at the markets, eager to be back in Santa Barbara. Creating delicious weekly recipes, she is excited to motivate residents to enjoy her family’s specialty limes.

“What’s not to like about working the markets!” said Iverson. “The community in Santa Barbara is so amazing and supportive. It feels great making healthy foods accessible to locals.”

Caipirinha Recipe

In celebration of Brazilian Carnival, Elly Iverson offers a tasty Caipirinha recipe.


-1/2 lime, quartered

-1 teaspoon white sugar

-2.5 fluid ounces of cachaca

-1 cup ice cubes

In a large rocks glass, squeeze and drop in 2 eighths of lime. Add sugar, crush, and mix with a spoon. Pour in the cachaca and plenty of ice. Stir well.

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